Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Mandatory Reconsideration phone call

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 14 Connected
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Replies

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @BrianaL and thank you for sharing this issue with the community today! I am sorry to hear that your wishes are not been taken into consideration. Have you spoken to citizens advice? They may be able to let you know where you stand. I wish you the very best of luck and hope it as un-stressful as possible. If you need anything else then please do not hesitate to be in touch!
    Scope

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 14 Connected
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  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,637 Disability Gamechanger
    You’re not required to answer the phone nor answer anything. 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Don’t answer the phone or meet them face to face. Speak with CAB first. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @BrianaL I hope your chat with them today goes well!
    Scope

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 14 Connected
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  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @BrianaL I am sorry to hear this. I do hope that you are able to get through to someone soon. I can imagine that this won't be helping with anxiety so please do take some time out of your day for self- care and I wish you all of the best!
    Scope

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 14 Connected
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  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    I am so sorry to hear this @BrianaL! This really does not seem fair at all! It is obvious that you are willing to comply, more the fact you would really struggle to do so. I think it is a good idea to have ideas written down as it may give you some level of clarity if you are made to speak. I wish you the very best of luck and really hope you get your claim sorted.
    Scope

  • GainaGaina Member Posts: 133 Pioneering
    Do you know where your anxiety of using the phone stems from?
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 14 Connected
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  • GainaGaina Member Posts: 133 Pioneering
    BrianaL said:
    Gaina said:
    Do you know where your anxiety of using the phone stems from?

    I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and have always been uncomfortable with any social interaction, but it's worse face to face with strangers or over the phone. I don't find it easy to understand people's tones or tell if they're being serious, and if I do have to talk on the phone I often just say whatever I think they want to hear and I find it hard to ask anything that might prolong the call. In my past experience with the DWP they have been very rude, unhelpful and even aggressive over the phone, and that has led me to have panic attacks. I can just about manage on good days to do things like ring for a doctor's appointment, but even then it sort of wears me out and it's less stressful for my parents to do it instead. I find it much easier to write or text, there isn't the same pressure of being listened to directly by a person, if that makes sense? If I'm writing it's not timed, I feel more focused and can think more clearly about what I'm trying to communicate, but speaking out loud I get flustered and confused and forget what I'm saying.
    I see.  I don't like using the phone myself if I can avoid it as I'm sometimes not sure when it's my turn to speak (ironically I used to be a receptionist in a Job Center, and hated it so I don't know if that's where my anxiety comes from) . 

    The likes of DWP could do a lot more to facilitate communication between themselves and clients who can't use the phone for whatever reason.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 14 Connected
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  • RipplesRipples Member Posts: 189 Pioneering
    @BrianaL Unfortunately the majority of MR's will be refused. They just want you to jump through the hoops in the hope it will dissuade people to appeal.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering
    Hi BrianaL

    I am so sorry that you have had to go through this.  You have Generalised Anxiety Disorder and the DWP would be failing in their duty towards you if they fail to make reasonable adjustments to help you to access the benefits system. This is the import of the Equality Act 2010. 

    However, the DWP would be likely to argue that they didn't fail to make those reasonable adjustments on this occasion.  If they read your case notes, they knew that you would find a phone call difficult, and so they didn't phone you. (However, good customer service would be if the DWP staff member you spoke to earlier had been able to reassure you that no call would be made).

    If you are going on to appeal the DWP decision, it might be a good idea to write about your recent experience in your letter or form of appeal. Explain to the tribunal panel how hard it was for you to anticipate the possibility of a phone call. I hope that this will strenghen your appeal and that you win it. 

    Have you got an opportunity to get advice about your appeal locally? I am wondering whether an organisation like Mind, if they have a group in your area might help. 

    You need to be sure to write in your appeal which descriptor points you should have scored and why and whether having to prepare to look for work is a substantial risk to your health. 

    Good luck. Do call the helpline if you feel that you need to talk about this.

    Gill_Scope
    Scope Helpline 0808 800 3333


  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 14 Connected
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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering
    Hello BrianaL

    Thank you for this long and interesting reply.  I hope that your No win no fee person will think that your case is good, or if not that Mind can help (I like that they know about mental illness, therefore they are likely to be able to get the most relevant information into the tribunal arena, as it were).

    Anyway, keep us posted here, if you can and if you want to.

    Very best wishes

    Gill_Scope
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